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Tell us your Favorite Shade Plants

By dave
January 20, 2016

We're putting together a list of the ATP members' favorite shade plants! Come on in and read how to nominate your favorites! We will later publish a final article on the top picks.

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Name: Marilyn
Greenwood Village, CO (Zone 5b)
Garden today. Clean next week.
Garden Procrastinator Region: Colorado Heucheras Region: Southwest Gardening Container Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Sempervivums Annuals Foliage Fan Herbs Garden Ideas: Level 2
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CDsSister
Jan 20, 2016 10:25 PM CST
This group of plants has so many varied and beautiful specimens which flourish in shade.
The Hostas Database

Many shapes sizes colors and flowers but just right for shade.





[Last edited by CDsSister - Jan 22, 2016 6:22 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1037968 (1)
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Jan 21, 2016 1:26 AM CST
I got this one last year and I am in love with it. The blooms are almost larger than the plant. I sure look forward to watching this one grow into a nice clump.
Which reminds me, I need to start putting out slug bait, tis the season of slugs beginning this month.
[Last edited by valleylynn - Jan 21, 2016 10:35 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1038009 (2)
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Jan 21, 2016 8:48 AM CST
Hostas are nice, but a bit 'meh' for me. Striking foliage, especially in a mix, but I don't find the blooms particularly impressive, and the slugs tend to turn the whole plant into tatters. A real nice filler and such a wide variety of foliage. I like the two toned ones best.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
Image
valleylynn
Jan 21, 2016 10:36 AM CST
Deb did you see the one I posted above? Holy Mouse Ears. I couldn't believe how big the blooms were on it.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
Bonehead
Jan 21, 2016 11:37 AM CST
Lynn, that IS impressive for a hosta. I think why I'm not so impressed with the blooms is I prefer bold and brassy over pastels. But the foliage is quite lovely (until the slugs move in).
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
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tarev
Jan 21, 2016 12:01 PM CST
I have tried Hostas, and they do look good in the shade, but it just is too much dry heat in our area, so it does not really last long. And I hate the constant battle with slugs. But it is a nice shade plant.
Name: Debbie
Manitoba, Canada (Zone 3a)
Hostas Cat Lover Annuals Bulbs Container Gardener Critters Allowed
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Houseplants Foliage Fan Butterflies Bee Lover Native Plants and Wildflowers
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DebbieC
Jan 21, 2016 12:33 PM CST
IMHO Hosta are the best shade plants ever; and a lot of them do well in the sun as well. There are patterns, sizes, textures and colours for every taste. So many hostas, and so little real estate! Some have dramatic and scented flowers, and some thicker leaves that the slugs won't touch. I guess it's finding the right Hosta for the right situation.
Marilyn, great pics of Praying Hands, Patriot and Blue Mouse Ears; I have all three and love them. Blue Mouse Ears have lovely flowers and thick leaves that the slugs avoid.
Lynn, your Holy Mouse Ears is gorgeous; I added Mighty Mouse last year and hope it does well. I plan to add some more of the minis this year and will look for Holy Mouse.
Tarev, I expect growing hostas in your climate would be more of a challenge; sometimes the cold has its advantages!
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Jan 21, 2016 4:08 PM CST
I am liking my Sun Hosta so far, planted them last year and they took a fair amount of sun.
Thumb of 2016-01-21/Seedfork/6051de
'Guacamole' has also done well for me here in a warm zone for Hosta:
Thumb of 2016-01-21/Seedfork/79c226


Name: Rose
Oquawka, IL (Zone 5a)
Garden Photography Echinacea Dahlias Clematis Region: Illinois Hibiscus
Heucheras Charter ATP Member Birds Hummingbirder Hostas Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Rose1656
Jan 21, 2016 6:00 PM CST
I agree that these are probably the best shade plant on the market! I have several companion plants for my shade gardens, but they are companions to the hosta! There are some beautiful plants with gorgeous foliage. I don't buy them for the blooms, but the hummingbirds and bees like them!

'All That Jazz' is a beautiful large one!
Thumb of 2016-01-21/Rose1656/2328fb

'Dark Nebula' is a pretty little streaked one


Thumb of 2016-01-21/Rose1656/20b4a1

'Faithful Heart' is a beautiful yellow that brightens up my gardens



'Gunther's Prize' ...Well, there's no need to say more!



I really like the different colored foliage grouped together!

Thumb of 2016-01-22/Rose1656/7347c1

Name: Debbie
Manitoba, Canada (Zone 3a)
Hostas Cat Lover Annuals Bulbs Container Gardener Critters Allowed
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Houseplants Foliage Fan Butterflies Bee Lover Native Plants and Wildflowers
Image
DebbieC
Jan 21, 2016 6:37 PM CST
Wow, Gunthers Prize is spectacular! Love, love All That Jazz and Dark Nebula! Oh, what the heck, I love them all; gorgeous. Thank You! Sighing!
Name: Marilyn
Greenwood Village, CO (Zone 5b)
Garden today. Clean next week.
Garden Procrastinator Region: Colorado Heucheras Region: Southwest Gardening Container Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Sempervivums Annuals Foliage Fan Herbs Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
CDsSister
Jan 21, 2016 6:41 PM CST
Love the way they are all grouped together!!! They make quite a show. Hurray!
Name: Ann
Ottawa, ON Canada (Zone 5a)
Hostas Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Composter Region: Canadian Clematis
Canning and food preservation Container Gardener Annuals Herbs Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
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ViolaAnn
Jan 21, 2016 8:28 PM CST
Hostas definitely!

In particular, 'Liberty' Hosta (Hosta 'Liberty')


And 'Tickle Me Pink' Hosta (Hosta 'Tickle Me Pink')
Ann

Pictures of all my hostas, updated annually and tracked since 2008 begin at: https://violaann.smugmug.com/Garden/Hostas/Hostas-in-my-gard...
Name: Rose
Oquawka, IL (Zone 5a)
Garden Photography Echinacea Dahlias Clematis Region: Illinois Hibiscus
Heucheras Charter ATP Member Birds Hummingbirder Hostas Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Rose1656
Jan 21, 2016 8:47 PM CST
I just noticed that I didn't include a link...does that mean my vote doesn't count?
Name: Gary
Wyoming MN (Zone 4a)
hostasmore
Jan 21, 2016 9:57 PM CST
Definitely the jewels of the shade garden. Some do have beautiful flowers but really, do they need them? I have amny shade plants but, the gardens just would be bare bones without the hostas.
Name: Marilyn
Greenwood Village, CO (Zone 5b)
Garden today. Clean next week.
Garden Procrastinator Region: Colorado Heucheras Region: Southwest Gardening Container Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Sempervivums Annuals Foliage Fan Herbs Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
CDsSister
Jan 21, 2016 10:48 PM CST
I think votes count when you contribute a remark, the first entry has to have the picture I think.
At least that is the way I read the rules:
"4. Optionally, check out the other nominations, and if you see something already nominated that you like, feel free to post a reply and say that you agree and add to the discussion. We will be looking at how many replies each nomination got to help us determine the winners."

Think this means a simple response is a vote for the entry. At least I hope so as I do think this plant deserves to be a winner, it is to me anyway.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
Image
valleylynn
Jan 22, 2016 9:48 AM CST
Oh wow, just look at all the amazing hosta photos. Hurray!
I can see I will be adding more to my very small collection this year.

I think hostas have to have a dormant/cold season, so they may act more like an annual for some people, but maybe you could try them in full shade and water them with ice cubes? I know this can work on some other types of plants.
Has anyone every tried this method in warmer climates?
Name: Margaret
Near Kamloops, BC, Canada (Zone 3a)
Region: Canadian Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Tip Photographer Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Charter ATP Member
Morning Glories Critters Allowed Birds Houseplants Butterflies Garden Photography
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mcash70
Jan 22, 2016 10:50 AM CST
Hostas are awesome shade plants, I wish I had more space in my beds for a few more of them, I love the variety of shapes and colors of the leaves and find the blooms very attractive.


Name: Debbie
Manitoba, Canada (Zone 3a)
Hostas Cat Lover Annuals Bulbs Container Gardener Critters Allowed
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Houseplants Foliage Fan Butterflies Bee Lover Native Plants and Wildflowers
Image
DebbieC
Jan 22, 2016 11:08 AM CST
My wish list for Hostas is about a mile long; so difficult to choose with limited space. Here are 3 I have on order for this year:


Name: Marilyn
Greenwood Village, CO (Zone 5b)
Garden today. Clean next week.
Garden Procrastinator Region: Colorado Heucheras Region: Southwest Gardening Container Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Sempervivums Annuals Foliage Fan Herbs Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
CDsSister
Jan 22, 2016 12:16 PM CST
I want to order some more this year but want to wait and see what survived the winter before I place an order.

Soooooo many varieties and so little space. Crying
Name: Margaret
Near Kamloops, BC, Canada (Zone 3a)
Region: Canadian Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Tip Photographer Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Charter ATP Member
Morning Glories Critters Allowed Birds Houseplants Butterflies Garden Photography
Image
mcash70
Jan 22, 2016 12:55 PM CST
So far I have been lucky and have lost only 1 plant a few years ago, they are pretty hardy.

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